US orders extra air cargo screening for flights from Mideast

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. aviation security agency has issued an emergency order requiring additional screening of cargo on flights departing for the United States from five Mideast countries. It says the steps are aimed at preventing terrorist attacks.

The Transportation Security Administration said in a statement that the order was prompted by "persistent threats to aviation." The countries falling under this order are Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. The agency says they were chosen because of "demonstrated intent by terrorists groups to attack aviation from them."

The agency said most of the requirements of the emergency order are already being carried out voluntarily by airlines in some countries.

Airlines affected by the order are Egypt Air, Royal Jordanian, Saudia, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad.